eyes corporate market for new domain names, an alternative domain name registry, has announced its first major foray into the corporate market by signing up wholesaler for high-volume domain name sales to large companies and Web design firms. is a controversial start-up that sells domain names that are not sanctioned by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a nonprofit that oversees the .com, .net and .org domains. offers English names with 30 extensions such as .shop, .inc, .llp, .llc and .ltd as well as Spanish, French and Portuguese translations.

By adding to its resellers, is targeting companies that own hundreds of domain names. counts among its customers Revlon Consumer Products Corp., Amway Corp., Caterpillar Inc. and Dow Jones & Co. These companies get discounts for registering 50 or more names per month with, which is an ICANN-accredited registrar.

" is the first really large ICANN-accredited registrar that has decided it's time to carry names," says Steve Chadima, chief marketing officer at "Hopefully that will inspire others to come on board."

The Internet's domain name system doesn't automatically resolve New.Net names, but has inked deals with EarthLink Inc., Prodigy Communications Corp., Excite@Home Inc. and several other ISPs so that users of these ISPs can access Web sites without a special software plug-in. officials say 65 million Internet users can access sites. Although its domain names have been available for six months, says it has not yet sold 100,000 names. Until now, its primary customers have been small to midsized companies. officials hope that integrating the ordering process for their names into the interface will make it easier for companies to order large numbers of names.

"Many companies have scores of trademarked names that they would typically like to register," Chadima says. "If they can do it quickly, easily, all in one shot and at a good rate, it may provide incentive for them to come on board with" will begin offering names in October. Pricing has not been set, but it will likely fall below the US$35 per year retail price of .com names.

How significant the deal will be is unclear. has suffered setbacks this year, including layoffs and the replacement of its management team in March. Once the second-largest domain name registrar behind Network Solutions Inc., is now ranked fourth.

"We've seen a pretty good amount of interest" in names, says Tom Cunningham, founder and CEO of Companies are looking for "names that are more appropriate to their business. We see a lot interest in .shop."

The deal comes at a confusing time for companies trying to manage large portfolios of domain names. ICANN is overseeing the introduction of seven new domains including .biz and .info, while some countries are more aggressively marketing their country codes as generic domains, such as .tv.

"The question is whether consumers will think of a [ name] as a Web address or whether their knee-jerk reaction will be to go to .com," Chadima says. "With the introduction of .tv, .info, .biz and .name, the education process for the consumer is going to be a lot quicker."

One challenge for is the fact that it has not yet signed up the largest ISPs in the U.S. - AOL Time Warner Inc. and Microsoft Corp. - nor has it signed up business-oriented ISPs such as AT&T Corp. and MCI WorldCom Inc. That means corporate users can't resolve names without a plug-in, and many companies don't allow their users to add plug-ins to their desktops., in Pasadena, Calif., was launched in May 2000 by Internet incubator idealab!. is a 20-month-old Baltimore start-up funded by angel investors.

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